Hartlepool 0 – 3 Blackpool
Attendance: 4,421 (351)
2 red cards , 2 penalties scored, 1 penalty missed and three points for Blackpool its all go for the Seasiders with a win that lifts them further away from the relegation zone.
For one of the first times in charge Simon Grayson was able to name an unchanged eleven from the team that started the match against Doncaster. However, Grayson was forced into two changes on the bench, new signing Sean Taylor and Simon Wiles making the bench in place of Danny Warrender and Lewis Gobern who both have been suffering with a goal.
Despite being a doubt last season’s top scorer Adam Boyd managed to make the bench for Hartlepool after being injured in recent months.
After a muted opening Hartlepool had a shout for a penalty when John Daley was brought down in the box, but referee Boyeson waved away the appeals from the home fans.
On ten minutes on the clock the first major event of the game happened when loanee Neil Wood received a straight red card from referee Boyeson for what was described as a “horrific challenge” on Pools Gavin Strachan. Boyeson had no hesitation and branded the red straight away.
Despite having numerical advantages it took ten minutes for Hartlepool to create their first chance of the match, John Pitman running at the Seasiders but only managed to fire wide from 20 yards.
5 minutes later Pitman received a booking for a foul on Marc Joseph.
The roles were then reversed and the it was the Tangerines who found themselves on top of the match. Keigan Parker found himself clean through on goal, Mickey Barron Pools captain brought Parker down in the box. Barron received his a red card from Boyeson to even the numbers up. Captain Peter Clarke stepped up and dispatched the penalty past Konstantopoulos to give Blackpool the lead.
In similar fashion to Tuesday night the lead was nearly doubled straight way when Prendergast ball found Parker on goal once again, but Parker was only able to blaze over the bar.
With both teams down to ten men the game settle evenly, and Hartlepool nearly found themselves when Sweeny’s goal bound header was adjudged offside following Jones’s save from a Pitman shot.
Both teams managed to create changes, with Pitman and Parker being the main threats for both sides. Pitman forced Lee Jones to pull of a terrific save low to his right after Pitman managed to carve a golden opportunity from a one two.
Moments later on the counter attack Keigan Parker ran at Humphreys and forged an opportunity for John Murphy but he was denied with a last ditch tackle.
Pool went into the half time break with the lead and both team with ten men on the park.
For the start of the second half there was a massive cheer for the return of Hartlepool’s top scorer from last season, Adam Boyd. He replaced Ben Clark, Boyd went upfront and Pitman moved over to the left of midfield.
Despite the lift of the return of Boyd it was the Seasiders who nearly doubled the lead 45 seconds into the second half. A cross from Parker found Murphy but the big man was only able to head wide to the disbelief of the travelling support.
Keigan Parker picked up his eighth booking of the season when he kicked the ball away following a tight offside decision.
Blackpool continued to force on the pressure with Rory Prendergast drilling a low shot on to the post.
A first run out in the tangerine was given to Sean Taylor, he replaced Wilcox on 50 minutes, the change was a straight swap with Taylor going into the left-back slot.
Eifion Williams who had been quite all afternoon then sparked into life with a twenty yard shot which whistled wide of Lee Jones’s goal.
A strange sequence of steps saw Hartlepool nearly get a equaliser but it was the Seasiders who doubled their lead. Tony Butler was adjudged to commit a handball in the box. Substitute Adam Boyd who had been out of first team football for 4 months stepped up, Jones managed to pull of an outstanding save to the bottom left.
Straight from the save the Seasiders went on the counter attack, Michael Nelson fouled Keigan Parker in the box to earn Blackpool their second penalty of the day and third of the match. Clarke stepped up and showed Boyd how to take a penalty, smashing in his seventh goal of the season.
Hartlepool made their second chance of the match Strachan went off with Lee Bullock replacing him.
The Seasiders then rapped up the match with the terrific Keigan Parker drilling a shot low into the goal after a pass from Mark Joseph on 81 minutes. Parker then was substituted with his work complete for the afternoon, receiving a round of applause from the home supporter’s as well standing ovation from the away following.
Kuqi replaced Parker and the Clarke was given a rest following his two goals, Southern replaced him and Butler was given the captains armband.
This was a fantastic win for the Seasiders but the result could have been so different, with the second red card and the penalty save being vitally important in the outcome of what was a entertaining game of football.
The win lifts the Seasiders above Hartlepool and further away from the relegations zone.
L Jones, M Joseph, T Butler, P Clarke (85 K Southern) , J Wilcox (52 S Taylor) , I Morris, N Wood, M Bean, R Prendergast, K Parker (84 N Kuqi) , J Murphy
Subs: L Pogliacomi, S Wiles, N Kuqi, K Southern, S Taylor
Konstantopoulos, M Barron, M Nelson, G Nash, R Humphreys, E Williams, A Sweeney, B Clark (45 A Boyd) , G Strachan (74 L Bullock) , J Daly, J Pittman (82 D Foley)
Subs: J Provett, A Boyd, L Bullock, D Williams, D Foley
Click here to see the match stats
Once again the Scot does it for the Pool, winning two penalties and grabbing one goal for himself.